Wednesday, August 4, 2010

If Circumstances Were Different

What makes a dog's story special, so special that every single avenue of treatment and placement is sought?

Take Sarge, he's a German Shepherd who has a history of aggression. He was not treated very nicely, probably spending most of his life inside a cage or taunted by his "owners". In July, Sarge was shot six times by his "owners". The dog was in a crate at the time and had no chance at retaliation or escape.

The dog ended up at the Lucas County Warden, a shelter notorious for killing more dogs than it adopts. He was eventually transferred to the Toledo Area Humane Society where he has bitten two people.

While the Humane Society is not putting the dog up for adoption, they are seeking other avenues of placement, including a sanctuary setting.

So why is Sarge, an arguably dangerous dog to humans, being given every single opportunity at a permanent placement and so many other dogs are not?

If every dog entering the Lucas County Dog Warden's office had a jazzy story, full of excitement and horror, perhaps they too would receive the royal treatment.

But they don't. They aren't. They are unwanted and discarded, which is horrifying enough, but then they get nothing more than a spot on the petfinder's page...if they're lucky. If they're not, if they're a Pit Bull or too nervous or sound shy, then they get death. It seems a bit unfair.

Sarge deserves to live out his life in peace and comfort. All dogs do. So long as a dog is not in immense pain or egregious suffering, he deserves a chance at placement. What extensive compassion we extend to Sarge - a dog who bites people on a regular basis - should obviously be extended to every dog. What intense media scrutiny is extended to Sarge should be provided to all dogs. How wonderful would it be if every day, we were bombarded with dogs in need of homes, with asks to adopt, with educational and outreach opportunities to inspire adopting a dog, instead of buying one?

Top story - Dog with floppy ears needs you! Breaking news - Pink-nosed canine wants your lap for snuggles! Live - intrepid reporter gets kissed by adoptable canine!

I'd certainly watch the news more often.

Good luck, Sarge. I hope a sanctuary takes you. I hope people reading your story will be inspired to meander on down to their local shelter and check out dogs who don't bite people and who aren't shot six times but who would love to live out their lives in peace and comfort too.

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